John Oliver wants communities to think twice before offering big tax breaks and other incentives to lure businesses.
On Sunday’s broadcast of “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver showed how companies that take advantage of incentives don’t always deliver on the promise of jobs and economic development.
Case in point: Williamstown, Kentucky, home of the Ark Encounter, an attraction based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. The religious attraction, which received tax incentives, did bring some jobs to the area, but with several catches. According to a news clip, Ark Encounter will only hire Christians, won’t allow gays or lesbians to work there, and makes single employees sign a chastity pledge.
“Aside from the homophobia, chastity is a pretty weird rule to put in place for a museum that’s pretty much a gigantic replica of a floating fuck zoo,” Oliver said. “They weren’t brought in two by two so that everyone would have a swim buddy. They were brought to fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.”
The ark was supposed to spark a boom in local development, but Oliver found that it hadn’t materialized. And Williamstown was hardly alone.
“We’re basically throwing money down a hole and hoping it brings us prosperity, which is the exact business model of a fucking wishing well,” Oliver said.
See the full segment in the clip above.